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Week #42
This work was done by Ann Rabinovitz in 1992 in New Orleans for the session “Foundational and Variations” in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Since this was the 4 th or 5 th time that I had taken Reggie’s Year Long class, I approached it differently than I had the other classes. So, when it was homework time, I was a lot of times influenced by the projects that I had done before and many times I could not seem to come up with a new idea or saying to put into a calligraphy piece.

Also, the guild had not seen a lot of my previous work and so I often brought to class things I had done before in his class. One was this little accordion book, so I will now tell the story behind it.

Opportunity knocks and sometimes someone is there to answer. Come project time, what should one do? So many choices, so little time! How to put one’s ideas into calligraphy.

This little book came about as our first granddaughter, Sarah, was going on two years old. I had this lovely marbled paper; actually, I had a lot of bought decorated and marbled paper, and still do. So, how to use some of this nice paper- It reminded me of a forest, then I thought of animals and alphabets and children’s books and was it then possible for me to come up with a cute story about all those things? Somehow, I devised the word Alphabetsaurius, which I thought and hoped would not be too scary a name for a dinosaur, as I had intended this book for Sarah.
I looked up some pictures of dinosaurs, got out some scratch paper, scotched taped some sheets together and sketched a very long weird looking animal with a big mouth and 4 sets of feet. Next, I added a writing line down the middle that also extended outside beyond his mouth.Then I decided what story could I make up that would include both letters and numbers. Once I had my little story, I had to add a long tail, that would have made too long a book, so decided to add the tail to the “back side” of the book.

I then drew my Alphabetsaurius on this gray paper, wrote out the saying, cut out the dinosaur and pasted it onto the sheet of paper that I had cut out. Before this I had done a lot of figuring ,like how tall did I want the book pages to be, where to fold them, etc. When gluing, some of the lettering that had been done in gouache seemed to bleed. Lesson one learned. Glue first, then letter. Since none of the paper I used was that wide, I had to do a lot of piecing together to get the size I wanted. My original mock up had letters dispersed all over the background, but once I got my story in the writing line, decided that was too much. Looking back on what I did, I am happy with the outcome, but wish I had added an extra fold so I could have put in a colophon.

I never did give this book to my granddaughter, but instead made her another one out of some of her drawings (actually, they were just scribbles) onto which I calligraphed some of her favorite children sayings and verses.
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